“It’s the best time of the year in Louisville. There are so many things going on in the city; I’m just happy to be a part of it” said Gerome Stephens, a Kentucky Derby Festival volunteer at the Kentucky Derby Festival’s They’re Off! Luncheon. Stephens photographed above with KDF volunteers Nick Lynch and Alli Grant.
They’re Off! was held at The Galt House, this past Friday, April 20, 2012. ESPN’s Erin Andrews was the keynote speaker for the 56th annual luncheon. Andrews is also well-known from her work as a correspondent on ABC’s Good Morning America and she was a competitor in ABC’s Dancing with the Stars in 2010.
The luncheon was presented a fun opportunity for Derby fans to wear their hats, fascinators and track appropriate attire to get into the spirit of the season. While Andrew’s was not wearing a Derby hat, she said she would be “wearing a smaller brimmed hat” this year in comparison to last year’s large brimmed hat.
The event was kicked off with a VIP reception for a limited amount of attendees as a meet and greet event. All other luncheon ticket holders were ushered into a lobby area with beverages and sponsor shopping in an expo style setting. Media was not permitted during the lunch portion of event.
Every year, there is a presentation of the AT&T Silvery Horseshoe Award, given annually to a group for making contributions to the thoroughbred racing industry / service in the community. This year the award was presented to the American Red Cross – Louisville Area Chapter. In addition to the award, the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation is making a $5,000 contribution to the local Red Cross chapter for tornado relief throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Special thanks to Sunny Daize Boutique for dressing Bella for this event.